Medicare Part B Premiums For Those Not Held Harmless
As noted earlier, certain individuals receiving Social Security benefits and those not receiving Social Security benefits are not protected under the hold-harmless provision. However, by law, standard Medicare Part B premiums are calculated to cover 25% of the expected costs of Medicare Part B program costs. In years in which a large number of individuals are held harmless and pay reduced premiums, aggregate Part B premiums may not cover 25% of costs unless the entire share of a premium increase is shifted onto those not held harmless. Thus, in certain years, those not held harmless may bear the burden of meeting the 25% requirement disproportionately. For example, in 2010 there was no Social Security COLA and approximately 70% of Medicare Part B enrollees were held harmless from the Medicare Part B premium increase. Those who were held harmless, on average, paid a Medicare Part B premium of $96.40 whereas Medicare Part B beneficiaries not held harmless paid the 2010 standard Medicare Part B premium of $110.50 .65
Low-income beneficiaries who receive premium assistance from Medicare Savings Programs are not held harmless. However, because they do not pay the Medicare Part B premiumâMedicaid will typically pay low-income beneficiaries’ Medicare Part B premiumâthe costs of low-income beneficiaries’ rising Medicare Part B premiums generally would be borne by Medicaid rather than by the beneficiaries themselves.
When Can I Enroll In Medicare Part B
If you are receiving retirement benefits before age 65 or qualify for Medicare through disability, generally youre automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B as soon as you become eligible.
If you do not enroll during your initial enrollment period and do not qualify for a special enrollment period, you can also sign up during the annual;General Enrollment Period, which runs from January 1 to March 31, with coverage starting July 1. You may have to pay a late enrollment penalty for not signing up when you were first eligible.
If youre not automatically enrolled, you can apply for Medicare through Social Security, either in person at a local Social Security office, through the Social Security website, or by calling 1-800-772-1213 from 8AM to 7PM, Monday through Friday, all U.S. time zones.
Keep in mind that once you are both 65 years or older and have Medicare Part B, your six-month;Medigap Open Enrollment;Period begins. This is the best time to purchase a Medicare Supplement insurance plan because during open enrollment, you have a guaranteed-issue right to buy any Medigap plan without medical underwriting or paying a higher premium due to a pre-existing condition*. Once you are enrolled in Medicare Part B, be careful not to miss this one-time initial guaranteed-issue enrollment period for Medigap.
Can I Delay Enrolling In Medicare Part B
Some people may get Medicare Part A premium-free, but most people have to pay a monthly premium for Medicare Part B. Because Medicare Part B comes with a monthly premium, some people may choose not to sign up during their initial enrollment period if they are currently covered under an employer group plan .
If you are still working, you should check with your health benefits administrator to see how your insurance would work with Medicare. If you delay enrollment in Medicare Part B because you already have current employer health coverage, you can sign up later during a Special Enrollment Period without paying a late penalty. You can enroll in Medicare Part B at any time that you are still covered by a group plan based on current employment. After your employer health coverage ends or your employment ends , you have an eight-month;special enrollment period;to sign up for Part B without a late penalty.
Keep in mind that retiree coverage and COBRA are not considered health coverage based on current employment and would not qualify you for a special enrollment period. If you have COBRA after your employer coverage ends, you should not wait until your COBRA coverage ends to sign up for Medicare Part B. Your eight-month Part B special enrollment period begins immediately after your current employment or group plan ends . This is regardless of whether you get COBRA.
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Dropping Medicare Part B
Medicare Part B offers health insurance coverage for medically necessary services and preventive care. Medicare Part B is also optional. If you choose to drop your Medicare Part B coverage, you can do so by contacting a Social Security representative;at 1-800-772-1213 .
Learn more about your Medicare coverage options and Medicare eligibility requirements;by speaking with an agent at .
How Much Does Part B Cost For Most Enrollees
Most people new to Medicare will pay;$148.50 for Part B premiums in 2021. This is the standard premium that most people pay;based on income. Social Security will deduct your Part B premium from your Social Security check monthly. If you have not enrolled in Social Security income benefits yet, theyll bill you quarterly.
Since some people pay more based on income, use the tables below to determine your personal Medicare cost for Part B. It shows the amount that you will pay in 2021 for Part B, per the preview notice released by the Department of Health and Human Services in November.
The Medicare Part B deductible for 2021 is $203.
Ways To Pay Your Medicare Part B Premium
If youre like most people, you dont pay a monthly premium for your Medicare Part A. However, if you have Medicare Part B and you are receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits, your Medicare Part B premium is usually deducted from your monthly benefit payment.
If you have Medicare Part B but you are not receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits yet, you will get a bill called a Notice of Medicare Premium Payment Due . You will need to make arrangements to pay this bill every month.
If you are required to pay a Part D income-related monthly adjustment amount , you will also need a way to make your payment.
Is Medicare Part B Free
Medicare Part B premiums may change from year to year, and the amount can vary depending on your situation. For many people, the premium is automatically deducted from their Social Security benefits.
The standard monthly Part B premium:; $148.50 in 2021.
If your income exceeds a certain amount, your premium could be higher than the standard premium, as there are different premiums for different income levels.
See below for more details about the Medicare Part B premium.
If you are receiving Social Security, Railroad Retirement Board, or federal retirement benefits, your Part B premium will be deducted directly from your monthly benefit. If not, you will be sent a bill every three months.
The chart below shows the Medicare Part B monthly premium amounts, based on your reported income from two years ago . These amounts may change each year. A late enrollment penalty may be applicable if you did not sign up for Medicare Part B when you were first eligible. Your monthly premium may be 10% higher for each 12-month period that you were eligible, but didnt enroll in Part B.
|Medicare Part B monthly premium in 2021|
|$412,000 or more|
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Original Medicare Or Medicare Advantage
Medicare beneficiaries can decide between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage for health insurance coverage.
Original Medicare consists of Part A hospital insurance and Part B medical insurance.
Typically, Medicare will deduct the premium for Part B from Social Security income. Other methods are also valid, but this leaves responsibility to the beneficiary to keep track of payments.
As the alternative, Part C Medicare Advantage plans must cover services equal to Original Medicare, or better.
A and B are both required to get Part C.
Medicare Advantage is a set of private plans from insurance companies. Medicare pays these companies an agreed fee for each beneficiary who joins. In turn, the private company takes over as the Medicare insurance carrier. This means the company sets health plans up with networks of Medicare-assigned doctors and facilities, as well as handling bills, claims, appeals.
In the same way as Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage can deduct the plan premium from Social Security income, or other billing methods can be chosen.
Medicare Advantage plans frequently offer benefits above and beyond what Original Medicare includes. Benefits can cover dental, vision, hearing, and even transportation for medical visits.
What Is The Monthly Premium For Medicare Part B
The standard Medicare Part B premium for medical insurance in 2021 is;$148.50.Some people who collect Social Security benefits and have their Part B premiums deducted from their payment will pay less.;This is because their Part B premium increased more than the cost-of-living increase for 2021 Social Security benefits.;Social Security will send a letter to all people who collect Social Security benefits that states each persons exact Part B premium amount for 2021. Since 2007, higher-income beneficiaries have paid a larger percentage of their Medicare Part B;premium than most.;Depending on their income, these higher-income beneficiaries will pay premiums that amount to 35, 50, 65, or 80 percent of the total cost of coverage. You can get details at Medicare.gov or by calling 1-800-MEDICARE ;.
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Social Security And Medicare Taxes
An employer generally must withhold part of social security and Medicare taxes from employees’ wages and the employer additionally pays a matching amount. To figure out how much tax to withhold, use the employee’s Form W-4 and the methods described in;Publication 15, Employer’s Tax Guide and Publication 15-A, Employer’s Supplemental Tax Guide.
You must deposit the taxes you withhold. See .
The social security wage base limit is $137,700 for 2020 and $142,800 for 2021. The employee tax rate for social security is 6.2% for both years.
Exemption From Social Security Or Medicare Taxes
Under certain circumstances, New York City employees may be exempt from Social Security and/or Medicare taxes. If you fall into one of the following categories, you may be exempt from Social Security or Medicare taxes:
- Not a pension member and contribute at least;7.5% or more to a single defined contribution plan, such as the Deferred Compensation 401 or 457 plans, or a 403 Tax Deferred Annuity . Get more information about Social Security & Medicare Tax Exemptions for Non-Members of Pension Plans.
- City pension plan member in 1957 electing not to have Social Security
- Half time CUNY student working at CUNY
- Non-resident student or teacher admitted to the US under certain visas
- Foster Grandparent working for the Department of Aging
- Election Inspector/Worker earning less than $2,000 from the Board of Elections in 2021
- Beneficiary of a deceased employee receiving payment after the calendar year of the employee’s death
- Temporary emergency relief employee.
Learn more about Social Security & Medicare Tax Exemptions for Other NYC Employees.
The Social Security Protection Act of 2004 requires newly hired public employees to sign a “Statement Concerning Your Employment in a Job Not Covered by Social Security”. Form SSA-1495 explains the potential effects of two provisions in the Social Security law on workers whose earnings are not covered under Social Security.
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Medicare Part D Premiums
Each year, the Medicare Part D base premium is set at 25.5% of the expected per capita costs for standard prescription drug coverage.49 Beneficiary premiums are based on average bids submitted by participating drug plans for basic benefits each year and are adjusted to reflect the difference between the standardized bid amount of the plan the beneficiary enrolls in and the nationwide average bid. The actual cost of coverage and premiums, however, varies by plan. Medicare Part D enrollees may pay premiums to their plans directly or may have premiums automatically deducted from their Social Security benefits.50
How Long Does It Take For Part D Premiums To Be Withheld
Be prepared for it to take up to three months from the time you request your premium be withheld before you start seeing the premiums withheld from your Social Security payment. In the meantime, youll receive a bill from your drug plan, and you will have to pay the premiums by check or electronic funds transfer.
The timing depends on when the plan gets your enrollment request. For example, if you enroll immediately during the Annual Open Enrollment Period, the request may be processed in time where premiums will be withheld from the start of your enrollment in the plan.
In cases where you didnt withhold premiums for one or two months after you enrolled in a Part D plan, or you enroll late in the Annual Open Enrollment period, youll get a bill for the months your drug plans premiums aren’t withheld and youd have to pay those premiums directly to your drug plan.
Your drug plan will also let you know if there are any issues withholding premiums from your Social Security payment.
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What Is Part D
If you have a higher income , youll have to pay an extra amount in addition to your plan premium. This is called the Medicare Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount, or IRMAA. Youll have to pay this whether youre in a stand-alone drug plan, or enrolled in a MA plan.
Social Security will let you know if you have to pay Part D-IRMAA based on your income. This can change from year to year.
Note that this isnt part of your plans premium, and you wouldnt pay this to your plan. Most people have it removed from their Social Security check, or youll receive a bill from Medicare or the RRB.
If your filing status and yearly joining income in 2019 falls under one of the following, see how much youll pay each month in 2021.
How Does Social Security Relate To Medicare Part B
Medicare and Social Security are both federal benefit programs, so it makes sense that theyre linked. This is done to lighten the administrative burden. Basically, its easier to manage your monthly premiums together with your monthly Social Security benefits, both for you and for the government.
The link actually goes beyond Social Security. If you receive benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board or the Office of Personnel Management, then much of the same things will be true. These benefit programs can also automatically deduct your Part B premium in much the same way that Social Security does.
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How To Get Medicare Part D Deducted From Social Security
Your Medicare Part D premium is not automatically deducted from Social Security.
To get this withhold set up, contact your Part D drug plan and ask to get your monthly premium deducted from your monthly Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board payment. Do not contact Social Security or the RRB as they cannot help you get this set up.;
Your plan will ask for the information they need to get these deductions set up. There is nothing additional that you need to do.
Or, you may have the option to select automatic deductions of your monthly premium when you enroll in your new Part D plan.
Can I Use Social Security Benefits To Pay My Medicare Premiums
Your Social Security benefits can be used to pay some of your Medicare premiums.
In some cases, your premiums can be automatically deducted If you receive Social Security Disability Insurance or Social Security retirement benefits.
However, this doesnt apply to all Medicare premiums. Each part of Medicare has its own premiums and rules for interacting with Social Security.
Well discuss how this works for each part next.
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Why Do Some People Pay Less For Their Medicare Part B Premium
Some people who get Social Security benefits will still pay less than $148.50 in 2021. This affects around 2 million Medicare beneficiaries. Legislation prevents the cost of Medicare Part B from increasing more than the Social Security annual cost-of-living increase.
In recent years, we have had low COLA increases, so these individuals have only been paying less than the standard base Part B premium. Though the;Social Security COLA increases;for the last couple of years have been somewhat larger, there is still a small group of beneficiaries being protected by the hold harmless provision.
Though this all very confusing, remember that you do not have to calculate this yourself. Again, Social Security will determine your Part B premium for 2021 and notify you by mail if you exceed the Medicare income limits and must pay a higher adjusted amount.
Most Medicare beneficiaries qualify for premium-free Part A. However, the Medicare Part B premium is deducted from your Social Security check if you are receiving Social Security benefits. In 2021, the Part B premium is $148.50.
You can also request your Part D premium be deducted from your Social Security check.
Most People Pay the Standard Part B Premium
Youll pay the standard Medicare Part B premium amount if:
Seek Out Help If You Have Questions
Its pretty prudent to get some good tax guidance, particularly in the startup years, to make sure youve identified most if not all the tax benefits, says Steber. Those benefits can really jump-start your savings, they can help preserve retirement income, and put a lot of income on your bottom line if you know where to look.
Taxes are intimidating to most of us, and each year brings changes in forms, new legislation, and a myriad of other alterations which seem to further complicate the process. Whether you file on your own, or seek the help of a tax professional if you are self-employed and paying Medicare premiums, being able to deduct the cost of those premiums can help your bottom line.
Start early, get your documents together, and if you had a life change even just a small one get some questions answered, its just a smarter way to save money.
This information is provided as background only. As with any issue related to your taxes, you should seek advice from a tax professional if you have questions about your specific circumstances.
Jesse Migneault is a journalist and editor who has written about business, government and healthcare including public and private-payer health insurance. His articles have appeared in HealthPayerIntelligence, the Hartford Courant, Portsmouth Herald, Seacoastonline.com, Fosters Daily Democrat, and York County Coast Star.